Driving three hours in a car with no air-conditioning wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. Granted, we left at six o’clock in the morning and arrived in Texas before the sun completely melted away the cool of morning.
“Okay, time for the map!” Sara said as we passed an exit sign for Frisco.
“Do you think we should wake them up?” I asked, jerking my head to our cousins behind us.
“Oh, probably. Spencer! Ashley! We’re almost there!” my sister yelled into the floorboard while she dug for the directions. Disgruntled groans ensued from the back seat.
“Hey, have you thought any about what you’re going to say to her? Stephenie, I mean.” I took my eyes off the road for a second to glance at Sara.
“Not really,” she answered absently. “This is Stephenie Meyer after all, and she’s got a lot of books to sign. There’s probably not going to be much time for talking. Take the next exit, I think.”
“Yeah, true. I just wanted to say something, you know, smart. Or at least halfway not stupid,” I mumbled.
“I’m sure you’ll think of something--you always do. Besides, it doesn’t even actually start for almost five hours. You’ve got plenty of time,” Sara encouraged. “Oh, hey, I think that’s the mall!”
Over the lanes of traffic I glimpsed one of the largest shopping plazas I’ve ever laid eyes on. Multi-leveled wings sprawled in each direction, colorful entrances lined the exterior, and the parking lot looked like it could hold tens of thousands of cars. Even at nine o’clock in the morning, many spaces were already filled. The Oklahoma mall I worked in was practically an ant on the sidewalk compared to this behemoth.
We took two trips around the entire building before finding the entrance to the super-sized, double-decker Barnes & Noble bookstore. Immediately after walking in, we each grabbed a copy of the newly released novel The Host from the large display to be signed later that afternoon. Then we marched over to the associate at the registration table.
“Ah, yes,” he said after checking us off the list. “Here’s your packet. Inside, you’ll find your passes and directions to the Centennial High School auditorium, where Ms. Meyer will do the signing. The doors’ll open around one o’clock this afternoon and the event will start around two.”
“What time do you think people will start lining up?” I asked quietly.
“Oh, goodness, I really don’t know.” He seemed flummoxed. “Like I said, the doors won’t open for a while. These passes also guarantee you seats in the auditorium, so you ladies don’t have anything to worry about. Just get there before one.”